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What is local listing management?

24-02-2024

Local SEO, Quantum Marketing

Local listings management is a process of ensuring that a local business’s information, such as its name, address, and phone number (NAP), is accurate and consistent across various online platforms and directories. These listings, commonly known as citations, are an important factor in local search engine optimization (Local SEO) because they help search engines verify the accuracy and credibility of a business’s information. When a business’s NAP is consistent across various websites, it signals to search engines that the business is reputable and trustworthy, which can improve the business’s search engine rankings and make it more visible to potential customers in the local area.

What you need to know about local listings management

The statistics show that most businesses cannot afford to ignore local searches. Incredibly, 80% of local searches convert. This means that if 10 people search for a nearby hardware store, electrician, or vehicle dealership, eight will convert — by finding the company’s location, contacting them, and eventually purchasing.

Local listings management is particularly important for local businesses looking to increase their online visibility and attract more customers. By ensuring that their NAP is accurate and consistent across various platforms and directories, local businesses can improve their search engine rankings and make it easier for potential customers to find and contact them. This can lead to increased foot traffic and sales for the business.

Listing can be a time-consuming process, however. Local listing technology (also known as location data management or listing management software) is playing an increasingly important role for business owners, as it gives brick-and-mortar companies the capacity to easily manage and update their data on customer-facing platforms.

Let’s take a look at what’s involved and what local listings can achieve for your business.

Maximizing data accuracy and engagement

The most obvious purpose for local listings is to display details that are important for customer engagement. That includes opening hours, phone numbers, addresses, and menus, as well as photography or other relevant images from inside and outside the business location. After all, it’s important to avoid missed opportunities.

Retail stores, restaurants, and other organizations can use listing management software to ensure the continued accuracy of vital company information, improve brand image and visibility, and dramatically ramp up engagement with prospective customers (at either a single location or across multiple branches).

By contrast, search engine optimization (SEO) is an increasingly convoluted task. SEOs move through continual cycles of their most trusted techniques becoming less relevant or effective, whether that’s link building or guest posting. We wouldn’t say SEO has had its day, but listings management is definitely shaping up as a vital part of the toolkit.

A number of industry leaders have weighed in on the issue recently. Entrepreneur magazine has recognized that there are a number of threats to the SEO industry, but SEO spending keeps on increasing. Traditional search is still used billions of times each day. Statista estimates that there will be over five billion Internet users worldwide!

Google regularly updates its core search algorithm in the firm belief that conventional online search is here to stay. However, it is evolving — with digital assistants, DIY optimizers, social media, and local listings management changing the face of local search considerably.

Growing your business in the new era

When the subject of local listings comes up, most business owners tend to think of Google My Business (GMB) and their own Google Business Profile. They have only a few directory entries up and running — and often, that’s enough, especially for small businesses. However, there are plenty of hidden advantages to adopting listing management software.

Managers can save time by tackling the local online listings process in one place, with the benefit of an automated workflow. They can update all listings in real-time, issue company announcements (for example, an upcoming sale) by sharing across all of their social media profiles with just a click, eliminate repetitive tasks, and improve inquiry response times.

Crucially, keeping your profiles on Apple Maps, Facebook, and other sites fully up-to-date helps you to boost your standing in local search results. You can improve your performance without hiring an expensive local SEO consultant! Today’s software enables you to bring extra foot traffic, leads, and revenue to your business, even if you’re working from a modest budget.

Online reputation management

Some products integrate with online reputation management software, enabling business owners to further improve their search rankings and track local customer reviews across multiple platforms. In some cases, they integrate with business intelligence (BI) platforms, giving you detailed, location-based analytics.

They often integrate with marketing software tools, helping you to cultivate your online identity and elevate both website and in-store traffic. Some products in the local listing management field work in tandem with website builders or content management software, which means you can also build and manage microsites and optimized store pages.

The state of play

Sadly, most local businesses are struggling to improve their visibility and are failing in the quest to stay top of mind for their local target audience. Some industry experts reckon that over 55% of local businesses have not even created a GMB listing. This should be your first port of call, as it’s a simple and quick way of building a more sophisticated shopfront:

  • Direct messaging enables prospective customers to send messages straight to your business phone number or email address via the GMB interface.
  • A new messaging feature allows direct communication with leads who searched for your business profile. You can now answer queries in real time.
  • Google Maps now allows you to chat with customers. This feature has recently been extended to Google Search, giving you even more communication options.

On top of these already impressive features, Google has also introduced read receipts. This means you can easily tell whether your customers have seen a message and keep your reach-out efforts unintrusive yet effective.

Do you want to increase visibility, guarantee accuracy and achieve higher conversions?

OBENAN has the solution for you. We have integrated over 136 directories into our online listing management system. This means that when you choose our local listing service, you manage your listings across all of those directories — making necessary adjustments and improvements from one central, easy-to-use platform.

We also have a web crawler that scours the entire web to identify any inconsistent information held by these directories. You can try it out here to get a feeling for how you can market your own content to maximum effect.

Make your location data spotless in the search ecosystem!

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